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If you’ve had enough of the smoke and fire and bells and whistles popping out of your plate of food, and would prefer to be incommunicado with Avocado (yes, we all need a breather from the Avo craze!), then 2018 is the year for you.

God save the Green!

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Lack of hygiene, increased heart-related problems and growing awareness of inhuman conditions of animals for slaughter is making more and more people switch to vegetarianism and veganism. I truly believe that not all who turn Vegan are doing it for fashion by day, and wearing fur by night. Some genuinely have trouble digesting milk products. And some really do love animals enough to give up eating them. It’s about where you draw the line, right? For example, I can’t bring myself to imagine eating horse meat.

And then there is the ab-mad, protein-hungry world that could potentially be lured into having plant proteins instead of animal proteins, as long as their washboards are intact. So all in all, green proteins seem to be the win-win solution for all. Although I AM a wee bit worried about what this sudden mass attention to plants and plant based products is going to do to the green cover of our planet… Rise of the Planet of The Fish???

For Guts and Glory…

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Food that is gut-friendly is going to take off and so should you! From the Indian Idli to the Ethiopian Injera, from pickled gherkins to spicy Kimchi, from probiotic yoghurts to raw cheeses, kitchens all over the world will be clamouring to bow allegiance to your stomach and serve you gut-friendly, easily digestible, pro-health plates of food. So no more excuses for muffin-tops and meat-beards, know what I mean? 😉

Getting hyper about local food…

Look around you, see anything interesting? How about those little Green Peppers, or those tiny Sour apples, or those luscious Sea Buckthorn berries, or those Filbert nuts that only grow in your part of the world?  Grab those and make a dish out of them. Because these haven’t traveled halfway across the world covered in wax to finally make it to your plate, but are growing locally, often in the wild. Because by picking them up, you are making a teeny-tiny contribution to your local farmers’ and foragers’ well-being, and helping your community too. And, finally because you have the upper hand in having access to something unique, which others outside your area don’t. And that makes YOU unique!

Putting booze on the snooze…

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Finish up all that’s left in the bottles in all that’s left of the year. Because if you want to be in on it next year, you will want to be seen reaching for the Kombuchas and the Lassis and the Grape Spritzers at the bar or at the house party. Alcohol free is the new cool, and the new way to keep your cool. And even your serving water with fresh lime or orange slices, or sprigs of rosemary, in clear glass jugs at your home do is going to draw admiring glances…

Pretty please!

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It’s the return of flower power. No, not a gun-controlled, terror-free, daisy-clad world, but a world of instagrammers who have the uncanny knack of making everything look droolingly appetising and mind-bogglingly beautiful. Maybe it’s a way of helping this bunch by giving them a natural, healthy tool to decorate their frames with. Maybe it’s a way to appease the ‘anti-bubblegummers’ – people who look down on those who love fruit flavours, and go for the next best thing, flower flavours! Or maybe it’s the striking visual of the barely-suppressed sexuality of eating Marigold, the Indian wedding flower, in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding that will be perpetuated in the big fat Indian weddings. But the use of edible flowers to add colour, vitality and fun to food plating, and a more unique and ‘new’ flavour to food and beverages is going to be one helluva trend next year. So next time you’re at St. Regis’s Luna, ask for my special Elderflower Martini. And watch out for Hibiscus lattes at your corner cafes!

Here’s raising a toast to your great, green, clean, gutsy, flowery and YOUNIQUE 2018! Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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